10 May, 2017

Planning On Panning? Tips For Using Up Your Makeup

 So you’re thinking of doing a project pan or something similar to get the satisfaction of actually using up some of your makeup…

If you have a normal – now sometimes called a ‘minimalist’ – makeup collection you won’t need to read this post because you’re probably going to use a product up before you replace it. However if you’re a makeup collector/blogger/vlogger/hoarder/lover like me then you’re less likely to have that satisfaction without applying some kind of focus and restraint.  

Not long ago I was approached by one of my social media friends to share some info on project pans and the like - I’m not an expert but I do like to give myself a focus or target at the start of each year to use up some of my beloved products and as a result I’ve done project pans, beauty ‘diets’, and makeup use-up challenges all with reasonable success.  Through trial and error I've figured out what works, or not, for me so if you’re interested in getting through some makeup here are my suggestions:

  • Before you begin you might want to set yourself a SMART goal of what you hope to achieve in your project pan.  In case you haven’t heard the term, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Rather than having a vague idea you can be a little more organised in how you approach it – last year I set the challenge of 50 makeup empties in 12 months (I'd managed to finish 44 the previous year so I was reasonably confident) and I managed to get there right at the end of the year!  Go ahead and Google SMART if you want to learn more about the technique.
  • Go through your collection and look for products  that you have a reasonable expectation to finish (half-worn lipsticks, panned powders, lip glosses etc).  It certainly helped me choosing everyday products that are on high rotation and sticking with those.
  • Choose to use what you love and enjoy.  It’s so much easier to keep grabbing for a lipstick that you know is truly flattering. And that means don't keep those expensive products for 'best’ – they expire too (how unfair!) and it’s disappointing when an expensive lipstick goes bad just because you didn’t allow yourself to use it.
  • On the other hand it’s always more of a struggle trying to force yourself to finish up a product you don’t like just to be rid of it - if something really isn’t working for you, decide whether to finally remove it from your collection – give it away if it’s hygienic to do so, or toss it in the garbage if it can’t be passed on to someone else.
  • Try a ‘one out one in’ approach to get through products more quickly – I have one pressed powder that I use daily and won’t open another until it’s done.  Other things I can keep to a minimum I do too (e.g. I only have 2 concealers, and 3 mascaras - waterproof, everyday, and volumizing – open at the moment)
  • Create a list of what you want to use and check the empties off the list as you go – I found this very satisfying because I actually like ticking off to-do lists.  You can create your list in whatever format you wish - it doesn’t have to be anything fancy or high tech. To be honest my list has been handwritten on a notepad! You can add to your list at any stage too if you can see there are additional products you love using and think you can finish.
  • Put the products you’ve selected to use in an everyday makeup basket or drawer for easy access and so you don’t have to think about it.
  • Give yourself an occasional break from your panning mission e.g. every weekend, one weekend a month, one week every few months depending on your needs to allow yourself the freedom to use whatever you like.
  • You might want to take step back from beauty spending and think about going on a low-buy - if not a no-buy - so you can focus on enjoying what you have already. Doing this makes me grateful for what I have and as a bonus my spending habits have changed as a result.
  • Finally, if you’re on social media share your progress for that extra support from your audience – they will encourage you as you go and keep you accountable too! They're your virtual support group! I personally love seeing used makeup on social media more than pristine pans and lipstick bullets – it shows genuine love for what the person owns - so I'm more likely to comment on those posts.

If you're about to embark on your own mission I hope some of these ideas help you too - When I look at them now I don't think they're anything more than commonsense really but it did take me a while to get there myself.

I wish you the best of luck!


  1. These are great tips, Vita! LOL at SMART because it's something those trainers at work used to talk about. Well, when I was working in the financial industry that is :-)

    1. Hi Lily! The workplace is exactly where I got the SMART idea from - it certainly applies to many goals though! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...